- The purpose of glazing the loggia and balcony
- What types of windows can be used
- Choosing the right glass unit
- Features of the configuration of frames and sashes
There is no special series of windows for loggias, at the same time, not all types of frames and double-glazed windows are suitable for these purposes. In our review, we set out the basic rules for choosing the type of glazing, calculating its dimensions and the general configuration of the window unit.
The purpose of glazing the loggia and balcony
Each of the glazing systems has its own application characteristics. For example, wooden frames are ideal for timber or timber frame houses, as they have the same properties as the supporting structure. In the case of loggias and balconies, there is a range of requirements for the characteristics of frames and double-glazed windows.
Speaking specifically about balconies, glazing on them is performed in order to further localize the internal space from the street environment. This helps to eliminate airflow, slightly improve the sound insulation of the adjacent room from the street, and protect the balcony from slanting rain. But there are goals that are never set when glazing a balcony, in particular, we are talking about heat-shielding properties..
In the case of loggias, the situation is different. They have a main parapet and enough space inside to accommodate an insulation belt, while the proportion of glazing in the total area of the enclosing structures is less than that of balconies. Therefore, glazing for a loggia, as a rule, is chosen warm, with special double-glazed windows enclosed in an energy-efficient profile.
The issue of glazing weight can sometimes be at the forefront. For example, if you plan to glaze a loggia or balcony with a remote method, or if the concrete console is already at the limit of permissible loads. In such situations, as a rule, double-glazed windows are not used, being content with single glasses installed in lightweight frames, usually aluminum. Naturally, in this case, there can be no question of any insulation..
What types of windows can be used
As a rule, PVC systems based on a 58 mm profile with three chambers without reinforcement are used for glazing non-insulated loggias and balconies. This is the most versatile type of windows, its main advantage is the minimum weight among plastic window systems, due to which an increase in the bearing capacity of the fence is extremely rare..
If insulation is necessary, five- and seven-chamber profiles with a width of at least 70 mm are used. This is already a much more serious system, allowing the installation of a solid energy-efficient double-glazed unit up to 40 mm thick. Such a series of profiles is notable primarily for the presence of a triple gasket circuit and the possibility of full reinforcement, which is extremely important when glazing loggias over 6 meters long. The disadvantage of such windows is the weight, as a rule, reinforcement of the existing parapet or the construction of a new one is required..
Wooden and aluminum frames are also quite popular, but in the context of glazing loggias and balconies, they have a certain specific application. The advantage of frames of this type is considered to be their low weight, therefore wood and light metal are usually used when installing external glazing. The thickness of the frames rarely exceeds 40 mm, while the windows do not provide a full-fledged localization of the internal space, since they do not have seals in the tongue-and-groove piles.
Choosing the right glass unit
Glazing is the most vulnerable point in any thermal protection circuit, and the characteristics of the frame profile mean much less than the properties of a glass unit, especially in a balcony or loggia. There are only two options for choosing here: either single glass with a thickness of up to 6 mm, depending on the size, or a full-fledged energy-saving glass unit of the highest quality with three cameras. Double-chamber and single-chamber double-glazed windows are used less often. They do not have a sufficiently high resistance to heat transfer, and therefore they are chosen solely for the purpose of improving noise insulation or installation in regions with a mild climate..
In the conditions of Russian winters, the only adequate option to ensure the preservation of heat on the loggia is the installation of energy-efficient double-glazed windows. Their key difference is the use of glasses with low emissivity, that is, those capable of reflecting thermal radiation. Today double-glazed windows of this type are far from being an innovation, their installation is quite common practice. The number of chambers is a key parameter, because the intensity of the heat flow is the lower, the greater the heterogeneity of the fence.
There is also an aspect of a completely different kind regarding summer operation, and it is worth covering in detail. The fact is that a loggia or balcony is a room with a fairly small volume and high transparency of the enclosing structures. Because of this, on a sunny day, the inner surfaces and the air due to the greenhouse effect heat up very intensely, which is very good in winter and completely unacceptable in summer. Therefore, if the loggia is located on the sunny side of the house, it is extremely important to provide for the inclusion of tinted or reflective glass in the glass unit.
There is no standard window size for loggias or balconies. Even within the same house, each site differs in the size of the glazing front, the difference can reach several centimeters. This is due both to the tolerances for deviations in the dimensions and position of balcony slabs and consoles, and to the technology of construction of fences. Therefore, for each individual balcony or loggia, it is necessary to carry out a mandatory individual measurement, it is advisable to do this yourself.
The purpose of the measurements is to determine the outer dimensions of the common window block, necessary to fit it as accurately as possible into the existing configuration of the supporting structures with the formation of certain technological gaps:
- 30 mm from the horizontal plane of the installation;
- from 20 to 40 mm at the narrowest part of the side abutments;
- from 20 to 30 mm in the narrowest part of the abutment to the slab regardless of its slope.
Initially, with the help of a water level or a laser axial plotter, a zero point located at least 100 cm above the predicted level of the finished floor is bounced off. The horizontal plane formed by this line is the main snapping object for determining the vertical dimension of the block. Pulling the cord in the plane of the glazing, you need to find the lowest point of the upper frame – this will be the maximum possible height of the windows.
For flat fronts, glazing is drawn in a frontal view; for broken loggias and balconies, markings are required in the plan from above. To do this, you first need to determine the displacement of the slab or parapet by measuring the distance to the edge along the normal. The lower value is taken as the offset of the glazing plane from the wall, and it also determines the width of the short sashes. It should be remembered that the lines of the balcony glazing are joined at a right angle, so the length of the leading front must be chosen such that the entire assembly becomes in the section of the slab. For the loggia, the glazing plane serves as an anchor point when arranging a parapet.
When measuring the glazing of a broken loggia, you do not need to accurately determine the angle, the window designers will do this according to the bindings transferred to them. To do this, you need to measure the distance to the break point along the normal from the wall, as well as its relative offset from the center. If the broken loggia has one side parallel to the wall, then the oblique is tied to the corner, you only need to measure the bases of the formed trapezoid.
Features of the configuration of frames and sashes
When calculating the width of the sashes in the glazing of a standard six-meter loggia, you need to adhere to values of 75–85 cm. This design has a fairly high inherent rigidity, and besides, it is very easy to divide it into its component parts. If the apartment has the technical ability to deliver windows up to 3 meters long, the entire front is divided into two identical modules with four sashes in each. It is also possible with a configuration of two modules with three sashes of standard width and one with two sashes.
As a result, 8 leaves are obtained, each of which can be deaf, transparent and opening. In this case, the placement of the opening flaps does not depend in any way on the scheme of dividing the front into blocks. It is better to start from the edge: there is no need to place the opening sashes, they only have problems: blows against the wall when opening from the wind, difficulties in adjoining the finish, inconvenience of use. Therefore, it is better to make the extreme sections simply transparent, and if cabinets are installed along the edges of the loggia, they are deaf with warm plastic filling, which will further improve heat protection.
If transparent sashes are installed at the edges of the front, the following ones must be opening, otherwise the outer panes cannot be washed from the outside. The next two sashes can be transparent, so two sashes are formed in the center, opening in different directions. But even four opening doors for a loggia is a lot, you can get by with just two with opaque filling of the extreme openings. They do not need to be washed, which means that adjacent cells can be transparent, as well as two in the center..
The number of moving elements of the window block should be made as small as possible, transitional and additional profiles should not be used at all. All this reduces the overall reliability of the structure, reduces the light opening, leads to an increase in the cost of glazing. As for the method of opening the flaps, it is better to make them tilt-and-turn with a contour ventilation mode. Firstly, the glazing of the loggia performs the functions of a room, and secondly, the constant load from the open sash greatly reduces the life of the hinge group.